Prime Minister Theresa May is heading to Brussels this weekend for a crucial EU summit. On Sunday, the 27 EU leaders will vote on the Brexit draft withdrawal agreement. If the vote passes, the next hurdle will be getting the draft passed by the UK parliament.
The date of the UK parliament vote in the House of Commons won’t be set until after the EU summit this weekend.
However, experts are already predicting when we could see the draft go to a vote.
December 7 has been mentioned more than once, with the idea being that will allow enough time for the draft to be ratified before the March 29 Brexit deadline.
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But BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said previously we could see the vote on a more unconventional date: Christmas Eve.
She said: “If the deal is in December it looks like the vote would end up being Friday 21, but someone in Government told me today that there had been a discussion about whether or not it would be possible or not to have the final vote on Christmas eve. Can you imagine?”
BBC’s Adam Fleming stepped in pointing out how “dramatic” a vote on Christmas Eve would be.
He said: “If Theresa May’s strategy is to make it feel like a real moment of drama and it is ‘choose the deal that is on offer or the abyss of no deal’.”
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He added”: “But, then you create even more excitement by having it on Christmas Eve, which is kind of meaningless in Parliamentary and legal and anything terms.
“But, it creates a big dramatic moment, doesn’t it?
“Do you remember that EU diplomat that said it would be the ‘darkest hour’.
“That is what she will summon up, the sort of Churchillian ‘back me or it’s disaster’.”
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Will MPs vote the deal through?
There has been a lot of talk from across the political spectrum from those who swear they’ll reject the draft and block it in the Commons.
But Laura Keunssberg pointed out the pressure MPs will be under to pass the bill if it eventually makes it to the Commons.
Speaking on BBC’s Brexitcast, she said: “That is going to be the sentiment. Someone involved said to me the pressure to vote for the deal is going to feel absolutely overwhelming. But, whether people go for it or not is a different question.
“That idea that ‘you will not be released to your families for the festive season until you vote for this’, we may well get to that kind of situation.”